However, converting theory into practice will present many challenges. Smell tests can reliably identify people with coronavirus, while excluding those with other diseases, is not yet widely available. (Dr. Hopkins pointed out some odor tests, developed before the pandemic, costing around $ 30 per session and in limited supply.) Searching for real viruses, never self-diagnostic diagnose the disease.
And loss of smell, like fever, is not unique to Covid-19. Other infections can impair a person’s sense of smell. So it is possible that allergies, stuffy nose caused by the common cold, or simply the aging process. About 80 percent of people over the age of 75 lose some degree of smell. Some people are born with deformities.
Furthermore, in many Covid-19 cases, the loss of smell can persist long after the virus disappears and people are no longer contagious – a complication that could put some people in practice. after Covid if they are forced to rely on the scent screen to continue operating, Dr. Yan said.
There are also many ways to design a screen based on smell. Food-related odorants that are common in some countries but not as common in others, such as bubble gum or licorice, may falsify test results for some individuals. People grown up in tall urban areas may not easily recognize scents from nature, like pine or freshly cut grass.
Smell is also not a binary sense, right or off. Dr. Reed favors a step in which the candidate assesses the odor intensity of the test – admitting that the coronavirus can significantly reduce olfaction but not eliminate it.
But the more complex the testing, the more difficult it is to produce and deploy quickly. And no test, even a perfectly designed one, will work with 100% accuracy.
Dr. Ameet Kini, a pathologist at Loyola University Medical Center, points out that the olfactory test will also inevitably avoid problems associated with other types of tests, such as poor compliance. or refusing quarantine.